Agriculture Supports Economic Innovation

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Agriculture Supports Economic Innovation and Jobs

Agriculture Supports Economic InnovationOn September 29, the honourable, Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, and the honourable, Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation shared how Alberta’s government is working to build value-added agriculture capacity and bolster economic activity with an aggressive private investment attraction target of $1.4 billion.

As part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, this investment attraction initiative will create more than 2,000 jobs and get Albertans back to work in emerging sectors like hemp, agri-technology and value-added processing of grain, oilseed, plant protein and meat.

Olds College, with the Alberta Government’s investment of $200,000 from the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) through Agriculture and Forestry, will partner with THRIVE’s Canada accelerator and startup program, which focuses on technology-driven solutions to support agriculture and food sectors. This builds on the Alberta government’s commitment of $1 million, made Sept. 21, to Olds College for its Smart Agriculture Applied Research program.

“Agriculture in Alberta will lead our economic recovery in Alberta. Alberta’s farmers, ranchers and processors are global leaders in innovation making Alberta the best place in the world to invest. Together, Olds College, SVG Ventures and strategic investors like the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation will deliver on projects that will support Alberta entrepreneurs and strengthen our supply chain,” comments Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food adds, “supporting technology startups will help keep Alberta’s agriculture and agri-food sector on the cutting edge of innovation, while creating jobs. Our farmers and food businesses are leading our country on the road to recovery, and our government will continue to invest in them to help them grow and succeed.”

“The Olds College Smart Farm is focused on building and supporting a broad-based agriculture innovation ecosystem that connects researchers, technology companies, producers, manufacturers, retailers and learners to accelerate the development and adoption of technology and practice, and enhance the economic impact of Canada’s agriculture sector,” comments Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College. “Olds College’s collaboration with SVG Ventures strengthens Alberta’s platform to support early-stage companies by connecting with SVG’s global network of entrepreneurs and corporate clients that are looking to invest in the agriculture sector here in Canada.”

THRIVE will help strategically develop Alberta’s agri-food system by providing guidance on high-value cluster opportunities, supporting startups, increasing Alberta’s exposure to Canadian and international companies, and strengthening supply chains with industry-supported technology. These supports will attract investment by demonstrating our commitment to fostering a competitive business environment.

“We’ve had a banner year but we’re just starting to scratch the surface on our potential to grow our agricultural sector. Smart investments and partnerships like the one we’ve made with Olds College and THRIVE will allow us to be leaders in agri-tech. Being a leader in agricultural innovation will create high-paying jobs here in Alberta,” comments Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation. 

John Hartnett, chief executive officer and founder, SVG Ventures|THRIVE adds “We are delighted to expand our SVG|THRIVE Innovation and Investment Platform to Alberta and announce our THRIVE Canada Challenge Program in partnership with Farm Credit Canada and Olds College. These partnerships exemplify our focus on global entrepreneurs and continued commitment to solving the critical challenges facing the global agri-food sector.”